Diecast Model Collection

I was into model railroading several years when I caught the bug of collecting Dinky, Corgi, Matchbox and other brands of diecast metal model veguckes.  It all began with a bus station I had on my model railroad.  I needed some different busses parked at the bus terminal for realism.  I’ve always been a fan of busses anyway.  As mentioned in another section of this website, I had a great interest as a kid in trams, busses, and trains.  Until you’re involved in something, you don’t know much about it and that is how I was with model vehicles. 

In the previously mentioned British model railway group, one of the chaps, Arthur Magill also had some unique model vehicles, brands which I had never heard of, such as, Rio (not REO), Dugu, Solido, Eligor, Husky, Tomica, Ertl, Schuco for example, and classy models like French Dinky.  Arthur was correct when he said, “Once you start, you’ll always be collecting”.  Of course, resources for collecting maintain some control over it.  I never smoked, so all my “smoking dollars” went to buying model vehicles.  Too late in the action, I learned that I should have focused on something particular, such as one scale, one brand, one type such as commercial vehicles, or busses for example.  I was buying something simply if I liked it, and I ended up with the largest mish-mash collection of models. Living in Montreal at the time, I didn’t think of others collecting model cars other than Arthur Magill.  I started putting up ads in stores “Looking for old Dinky, Corgi, etc. models”. Luck was with me, it was the right time, and I had great success in obtaining some nifty old toys in their original boxes.  I read somewhere about a diecast model association in Toronto.   I called and was advised that one of the country’s largest collections was that of a Case van Maanen in Cornwall, Ontario, not far from the Quebec border.  I contacted Case and we agreed that I would bring some items on the train to meet him.   I got off the train in Cornwall with my carton of models and a large sign “Dinky” on the carton so he could identify me.  Case was one of the few people in your life you would class as a real gentleman.  Every room in his home had showcase after showcase of thousands of models. His intent was to collect particularly every Dinky toy after WWII.  Of course, you come across other items, and Matchbox had started their Matchbox Models of Yesteryear. It was real sales success for Matchbox, who marketed a model and then brought it out in different labels, making it almost impossible for the collector to keep up.  There were many variations which drove collectors to drink.  Fanatics started questioning for example, whether a poor paint job resulting in a faded colour could be classed as a  rare different colour, etc.  Case was quite taken with the items I had brought to show him, and immediately offered me 25 of his duplicates in trade for one Dinky car transporter in an official rare colour he didn’t have.  That day, my collection grew about five times what I had in numbers, and Case got some rare models for his collection.    Such enthusiasts we were, Case & I used to go to the Toronto toy show and be the first and second in the lineup to enter at opening time!!!

At one of the shows, I bought a Corgi 349 Mini for $2 because I liked the look of it.  Here is a picture of a duplicate model. 

After we moved to this smaller home, much of the collection was packed up in cartons and a collection in cartons is ridiculous, you can’t touch or see it.  When I began to auction off the models online, I put several Corgi models including the Corgi 349 in a group at $4 each to start, but the above Corgi sold for over $600 U.S., a sort of an “online auction success story”. 

Here are pictures of some models that WERE in my collection: 



Here are some pics of old diecast catalogues: